I am late writing about this. But not so late that you can’t watch the whole caboodle so far on catch up.
I am a long (long, long) time fan of Caitlin Moran. I never miss her column in The Times’ Saturday magazine, I’ve read all her books and last year I finally saw her speak live in Bristol, on her ‘How to Be a Woman’ tour. So her sitcom, written with her sister Caz, was never going to be a tough sell for me – I loved the pilot last year and kept an eye out for the real deal until it emerged last month.
Raised by Wolves is loosely modelled on Moran’s own childhood, set in a Wolverhampton council estate but whooshed to the present day, where an exuberant Germaine (Caitlin) and Aretha (Caz) navigate their teen years, younger siblings and a somewhat unorthodox mother.
Mum Della (played by Rebekah Staton) is the best thing in this. (Closely followed by Grampy.) Staton told the Morans she planned to play the mum-of-five ‘like Clint Eastwood’, and she more than delivers: fag in hand, razor-sharp one liners flying at those who get in her way. It’s witty, it’s quotable, it’s utterly real (and yet surreal).
You really have to watch it to love it, but here are five more things I love about Raised by Wolves:
1. Shit nan
Della’s mother has yet to make an actual appearance, but her menace hangs around the show like the scent of peach Glade in her and Grampy’s semi-detached.
Della’s dad is a sage influence on the kids, with wisdom on everything from cracking TV to drugs and chips. He’s a maverick, but that’s why we love him. Just don’t make him watch In the Night Garden…
3. The celeb names
Yep – Della’s gone for a colourful range, with Mariah and Yoko also getting a shout-out.
4. The pop culture references
Masterchef, Nike, Britain’s Got Talent and Dora the Explorer have all been name-checked in various gags.
5. The straight shooting
Periods, crushes, snogging and wanking. This is what teenage girls need – a bit of demystifying. And Della, Germaine and co do it with great style and humour.
Raised by Wolves is on Mondays at 10pm, on Channel 4. Watch every episode to date here.